Entering the secret zone: Becoming someone’s ghost

Oh boy, it’s that magical hour!  It is 1:32 am, and I am sitting here wide-eyes opened!  I am about to begin another writing project for a client. This time, it has nothing to do with marketing, but I will become her voice.  Yes, amid this wonderful industry wrapped around the interplay of words, I am about to enter into the secret zone–I will become her “ghost.”  🙂

Ghostwriting can be both rewarding and challenging.  This genre is not new. While ghostwriting is not the oldest profession in the world, it has been around since the idea of written language was first established.  The earliest calculations go all the way back to Mesopotamia around the third millennium BC.  These records are not on linen, or computer paper…No, they were recorded in clay!  Guaranteed, I won’t be writing anything in clay anytime soon… in fact, I will not be scribing in ink either.

It is amazing how many people really cannot write for themselves, so for a writer who can learn to write in another voice, this field can be a lucrative, enjoyable way to earn a living.  Ghostwriting has everything to do with hooks (no, this is not related to fishing) and angles.  It is all about being able to find your subjects (clients) voice, gather months or perhaps years of information in a reasonably short amount of time, and then create a masterpiece of intrigue that publishers cannot dismiss.

Admittedly, when I first began writing in this manner, I did not always choose people who had interesting stories.  I have since learned, that no amount of talent or money can turn a boring story into a masterpiece.  In addition, it is also my responsibility to ask the right questions, even if they are delivered rather bluntly.  There must be a trust between the subject (client) and the ghostwriter from the get go.  I must be able to pick their brain, and not ruffle their feathers (that can be an art in itself)!

At all times, it is very important to remember that this is not about my opinion, but solely about another person’s views and/or experiences. Flexibility is paramount.  If you are a writer with the need to express your opinions, or are not comfortable interviewing and digging deep, then this style of writing is probably not for you.

So, this project is an autobiography, and therefore I must sort through the persons life and her undoubtable desire to be “heard,” and bring a fresh, unbiased perspective to the project with the goal of enticing readers while broadening the potential readership of the book to a much broader audience.   In a witty and calculated manner, I must become this persons voice and relay “her” story without reservation.

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